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Fans pay respects to Gil Scott-Heron at gathering

6/14/2011, 1:41 p.m.
Fans pay respects to Gil Scott-Heron at gathering

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Fans pay respects to Gil Scott-Heron at gathering

Friends, relatives and fans of the late Gil Scott-Heron attended a wake at Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home on the Upper East Side Friday night. Those who attended the gathering shared memories and stories about the poet, musician and author.

Lining up outside of the funeral home at around 6 p.m., mourners were able to meet and give condolences to Scott-Heron's family, including his children, and musicians who worked with him.

Scott-Heron passed away last Friday at age 62 after falling ill when he came back from Europe. A memorial service was held on Thursday that brought out hundreds of people. Rapper Kanye West gave a special performance in tribute to Scott-Heron who was considered a hip-hop pioneer.

Among those at Friday night's gathering was jazz flutist Bobbi Humphrey who often performed alongside Scott-Heron. The two were close friends for more than 40 years performing together for the last time in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem last summer.

"I am deeply saddened and shocked as many of his fans and friends were. I considered Gil my brother," she said. "Gil was an authentic voice. Gil believed that the important thing about being an artist was to be a griot and speak to the issues in clear voice. He used to his voice to inform and uplift people."

Scott-Heron's family announced that a tribute event with celebrity performances for fans is being planned for July.